After three days of voting, October 25, 27, 28, the Membership voted 95% in favour of the FASBU Collective Agreement 2019-2022. Thank you to the Collective Bargaining Committee for their hard work, and to the Membership for their support.
NUFA Executive, at a meeting on October 22, unanimously approved a motion to recommend to the full-time faculty the tentative collective agreement reached on October 21.
FASBU Tentative Agreement reached at 3:30 am Monday, October 21. Details will be announced at a Special Membership Meeting, Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 3:30 pm in H105.
Bargaining talks hit an impasse – October 7, 2019
After three days of talks with a Ministry of Labour conciliator this weekend, the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) has asked the conciliator for what is called a “no board” report, which, when filed, will trigger a 17-day countdown towards a legal strike or lockout position.
NUFA came to this intense weekend of negotiations prepared to reach a fair settlement for their full-time Members, and some significant progress was made. But in the end, the Employer refused to discuss some of NUFA’s key issues, including pension improvements, and they were unwilling to table a financial package despite repeated requests by NUFA. It’s incomprehensible that after 37 scheduled days of bargaining, the Employer is claiming to need more time to ‘crunch the numbers.’ These are clearly delay tactics that ultimately risk our students’ education.
Since talks began in March, the Employer has proposed numerous claw backs that not only jeopardize faculty research and teaching, but also ultimately compromise the high-quality teaching conditions that Nipissing University students value. The faculty do not want to go on strike, and a no-board report does not mean that a strike is inevitable. We want to negotiate a fair deal that protects our working conditions, which are our students’ learning conditions.
The contract academic staff bargaining unit (CASBU) are also without a contract, and have been since May 1st. The Employer has refused to even begin negotiations with them, so NUFA has also requested a conciliator to get the Employer to the table.
The Board of Governors needs to instruct its team to get serious about making a reasonable and fair deal. We have compromised enough in this round of bargaining. We are serious about negotiating to avoid a strike but we can’t do this alone. We need the Employer to commit to genuine negotiation and that means having the same openness to meet us in compromise. There is no good reason we can’t reach a deal.
Talks are scheduled to resume October 20th.
Nathan Kozuskanich, NUFA President
Conciliation Meetings, Friday, October 4 to Sunday, October 7, 2019
Three days of conciliation are scheduled with the Employer and the Conciliator, Diane Bull from the Ministry of Labour. For updates on negotiations, please see our recent Bargaining Bulletin #9.
FASBU Strike Mandate Vote, Friday, September 13, 2019
Thank you to those in FASBU who voted on the Strike Mandate. Of those who cast a vote, 78% voted in favour of the strike mandate. The Collective Bargaining Team is grateful for the support and has been hard at work on your behalf since their very first meeting on November 7, 2017.
The only way to stop a new CA with nothing but concessions from faculty is solidarity. “There must be no pulling different ways,” John Hancock declared after signing the Declaration of Independence. “We must all hang together.”
Nathan Kozuskanich, NUFA President
NUFA Media Release, August 21, 2019 – Nipissing University Administration Stalling in Negotiations with Faculty
The Employer’s negotiating team at Nipissing University have effectively brought negotiations with the Faculty Association to a standstill until mid-September.
“We are disappointed and concerned by this move by our Employer,” says Dr. Nathan Kozuskanich, President of the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA). NUFA says that the Employer tabled a punishing package which, in calling for increased reliance on insecure contract faculty and in reducing the commitment to research time, will significantly affect students’ classroom experience as well as their opportunities. This will potentially have the long-term consequence of making them less competitive at graduation.
Dr. Kozuskanich says that these demands by the Employer take Nipissing University backwards, not forwards. “They will only have negative effects for student experience and quality of education at Nipissing. We are a small university with an outstanding faculty, who offer students a first-class experience of higher education, which creates meaningful opportunities for them. Nipissing has a fantastic employment rate post graduation. This is thanks in no small measure to the faculty. So why does our Employer want to punish one of its major assets, which will ultimately hurt students?”
The main aim of the Full-time Academic Staff Bargaining Unit (FASBU) of NUFA has been to make gains in pensions by moving from the current single Employer defined contribution plan to a jointly sponsored plan, a change that would represent a negligible increase in the university’s budget.
“For virtually no additional cost to the university, our members could have the capacity to retire with some measure of financial security. Currently, senior faculty are compelled by the inadequacy of their retirement benefits to work past age 65,” says Dr. Kozuskanich.
The bargaining unit representing contract faculty at Nipissing (CASBU) has also been without a contract since the end of April, but the Employer has refused to negotiate with them. “We are concerned that this refusal to meet with contract faculty is part of a larger trend towards insecure jobs for faculty. NUFA is fighting to keep good jobs in North Bay and to ensure that students continue to receive a top-quality, personal education at Nipissing,” says Dr. Kozuskanich.
Nipissing University has filed with the Ministry of Labour to send in a conciliator. During conciliation, either side may call for a “no-board report” which allows for legal labour action by either side after a 17-day waiting period.